Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk said in an interview with the L’Osservatore Romano this week that the situation in Iraq “is quite good and this means refugees could return to their homes. There are hundreds of empty and abandoned rooms and tents that await the return of Christians.”
“Christians draws near,” the archbishop said, “and what better time to come together and await the birth of our Lord Jesus?” he asked.
“Our Muslim brethren also await the return of the Christian community. When Muslims are in need and ask us for help, we do not hesitate. I assure you that in Iraq there has always been a great spirit of coexistence and reciprocal respect,” he added.
Archbishop Sako also noted that “towards the middle of December at the offices of the Archdiocese of Kirkuk, a day of prayer and reflection will be held, which will be attended not only by Christians but by leaders of other faiths as well. It will be day of prayer during which hymns and psalms will be read and we will ask Jesus to help us live together, to dialogue and to keep Kirkuk and Iraq free of violence. This will once again show the spirit of coexistence and peace that is found in Iraq.”
“Of course,” he warned, “we cannot underestimate the terrorist groups, whose objective is to spread fear among Christians and break the good relations that unite the country. But with common prayer we can lessen the danger.”